In less than two months, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be embarking on their first royal tour together as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, visiting Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand in October. And while the couple have surely been talking nonstop about how big a deal the upcoming trip is, it’s doubtful they’re doing so with words like “baptism of fire.” But that’s exactly how one former royal spokesperson described the tour in a new interview with The Mirror.
“She’s a good communicator, she’s good at talking to people, but it will be a real baptism of fire,” Dickie Arbiter, a former spokesperson for the queen, told the publication. “They will have a very demanding schedule, and the duchess will have to get used to local customs with the eyes of the world on her. But no doubt she will come through with flying colors and they will show they will be a force of good for the Commonwealth and the Royal Family on the global stage.”
Arbiter also said that the tour will be a “litmus test” for Markle, who previously attended the Invictus Games in Toronto as Prince Harry’s girlfriend, but will now be opening the Invictus Games in Sydney with him as part of a married couple. “With experience will come confidence, and in the next few months I have no doubt we will see her come out of her shell even more and start to be more vocal for causes and charities she wishes to support,” Arbiter added.
He also praised the way Markle has handled all of her royal outings. “With the Duchess of Sussex being from the U.S., the concept of monarchy is a bit alien, so it’s been a great learning curve she has taken in her stride and managed incredibly well,” he told The Mirror. “The prime example was when she went to Cheshire with the queen. There seemed to be a tremendous rapport between them, a lot of laughter, and that would give a clear indication that the queen is very relaxed in her company and she became relaxed in the queen’s company. She and Harry have shown they are getting on incredibly well and always look so fantastically in love.”